How can I restart the USSR

The history of the Soviet space station "Mir" The Soviet space station "Mir", the little sister of the ISS

The end of the Soviet Union on the space station "Mir"

In 1991 the cosmonauts Alexander Volkov and Sergei Krikalev received special media attention. Krikalev flies on the "Mir" in May 1991. With the next Soyuz TM-13 mission, Alexander Volkov will land on the space station in October. The two "last Soviet citizens" will not return until March 1992. During this time Ukraine, Volkov's homeland, declared itself independent and at the end of December 1991 the Soviet Union was dissolved. Upon their return, the two cosmonauts are Russian citizens. Krikalev later commented on that time:

We scientists still watch the stars. For us it doesn't really matter who is president. There are things that are more fundamental than political events.

Sergei Krikalev cosmonaut

Soviet records for space travel

During its 15-year history, the "Mir" has had plenty of successes. It is the largest space station of its time and the first permanently manned research station in space. In 1994 and 1995 the Soviet cosmonaut Valery Polyakov spent the longest time in space on board the "Mir". "It was practically like a self-experiment for a Mars mission," explains space travel journalist Gerhard Kowalski in an interview with MDR ZEITREISE. In the 1990s, more and more astronauts from other nations land on the space station. In 1995, the German astronaut Thomas Reiter made the longest space flight as a non-Russian astronaut, and in 1995 the first American astronaut was on board. In the 15 years that the "Mir" has been in earth orbit, more than 100 space travelers work and research in its interiors. It circles the earth more than 86,000 times.

The final end of the space station "Mir"

In the 1990s, however, the "Mir" made mostly negative headlines: the space station is now getting on in years, and the defects on board are increasing accordingly. Sometimes coolant leaks, sometimes the on-board computer gives up or there is a leak in the protective cover. In 1997, an oxygen generator caught fire - but the crew managed to bring the fire under control. During its time in space, the "Mir" reportedly had more than 1,600 defects and breakdowns.

At the beginning of the 1990s there are still plans to replace the ailing space station with a new "Mir 2". However, this project is dashed with the collapse of the USSR - the successor state Russia lacks the money for it. In 1998 the International Space Station ISS is put into operation. The final end of "Mir" is also sealed for three years. In April 2000 the last crew started for the "Mir", after which Russia initiated the controlled crash mission of the space station. On March 23, 2001 the "Mir" enters the earth's atmosphere, breaks apart and largely burns up. The remaining debris is sinking into the South Pacific.

Positive balance of the Soviet space station

The "Mir" was the first modular space station and thus shows that humans can stay in space for months. After the end of the Cold War, US astronauts were also allowed on board. In total, the "Mir" accommodates around 100 space travelers.

For the first time, continuous research was possible in the 'Mir'. In addition, important knowledge about the behavior of the human organism in weightlessness could be obtained.

Gerhard KowalskiSpace journalist

Despite the many technical breakdowns in its final phase, the "Mir" lays the foundation for future space travel and the success of the ISS, emphasizes space travel journalist Gerhard Kowalski. The "Mir" is considered the little sister of the international space station ISS.